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3rd Ave Belltown Paving Project (Virginia St to Broad St)

Taking care of basics

Last updated: September 21, 2017

What’s happening now

Bell St water work this Friday, September 22 and next Friday, September 29 (rescheduled)

  • Crews will repair and replace portions of 2 water lines near the Bell St and 3rd Ave intersection Friday, September 22 into Saturday, September 23. An overnight water shut-off on Friday will be required for this work, and Seattle Public Utilities has already notified affected properties. The contractor has obtained a temporary noise variance for the noisy, nighttime work between 7 PM on Friday evening and 7 AM Saturday morning.
  • Beginning 7 PM on Friday, September 22 through 4 AM on Sunday, September 24, southbound 3rd Ave vehicle traffic will be rerouted to 5th Ave between Battery and Lenora streets.  Please see the detour map for information on access and on-street parking restrictions.
  • During this time, southbound buses will be rerouted to 2nd Ave between Wall and Blanchard streets, and the Bell St bus stop will temporarily move to 2nd Ave. For information on changes to Metro routes, visit
  • Please note that the second overnight water shut-off to complete repairs to one of the water lines in this area has been rescheduled for Friday, September 29 (previously scheduled for October 2 or 3). SPU will notify affected properties early next week.

Concrete demolition and repaving continues on the east side of 3rd Ave between Blanchard and Battery streets

  • Crews are currently working on the east side of the street to pour new pavement in the roadway between Blanchard and Bell streets, and demolish the existing pavement between Bell and Battery streets.
  • To accommodate work in this area, several side street closures will be in effect over the next few weeks:
    • Bell St between 3rd and 4th avenues closed to vehicle through traffic as of Wednesday, September 20 through October
    • Blanchard St between 2nd and 3rd avenues closed to vehicle through traffic beginning 7 AM Monday, September 25 through October
    • For both roadways, local vehicle traffic can access the area but cannot cross 3rd Ave. Please see the detour map for information.
  • The northBbound ell St bus stop has been relocated and split into 2 stops through early December: one stop will be 1 block north on 3rd Ave, the other will be to the east on Battery St.

Repaving at Vine St intersection on the east side of 3rd Ave

  • To complete repaving on the east side of the intersection, Vine St is expected to be closed between 3rd and 4th avenues for approximately 1 month
  • Please see the detour map for information.

For all active construction work in the corridor, you can expect the following:

  • Access for emergency vehicles and pedestrians will be maintained.
  • Uniformed police officers or flaggers to assist traffic flow when crews are working.
  • Construction-related noise, dust, vibration, and concrete odor.
  • Work is weather-dependent and subject to change. We will keep you updated if any changes are anticipated.

What else is happening in the project corridor?

With all major paving work anticipated to be completed before the rainy season, crews plan to work the following weekends:

  • 9/28-10/1: Bell St water work; Wall St repaving, west side
  • 10/7-10/8: Wall St repaving, east side

This work requires closures of the side streets in the work area. We will provide additional information as these work dates approach.

Questions? Want to receive project updates?

Email the project team:
Email updates: Sign up using the form below
Text updates: Text "3rdAvePaving" to 33222 to receive construction alerts via text
Call: (206) 920-7073

3rd Ave Paving Detour Map
Click to view larger

Above: 3rd Ave before construction

Construction overview

To minimize the duration of the work in front of a given property or block, we’ve divided the project area into 4 work zones. Crews will be required to finish major construction in one zone before moving to the next:

  • Zone A: Virginia St to midblock of Lenora St (major construction complete)
  • Zone B: Midblock of Lenora St to Battery St
  • Zone C: Battery St to midblock north of Vine St (crews are working here now)
  • Zone D: Midblock north of Vine St to Broad St (crews are working here now)

3rd Ave will generally remain open to traffic throughout construction, although will be reduced to a single lane in each direction in the active construction zone. Occasional detours are expected and will continue to be communicated in advance. On-street parking will be restricted temporarily at construction locations.

The water main and sewer line work will require some water shutoffs, which we expect will occur at night, for the least impact. Weekend work will be necessary at intersections heavily used by Metro during the week. Other construction will occur during standard work hours.

SDOT is working closely with King County Metro so buses continue to operate during construction, although individual bus stops will be temporarily closed or moved. We will not simultaneously close bus stops next to one another.

Project Overview

3rd Ave through Belltown is a primary arterial carrying some 3,600 vehicles per day, approximately 45% of which are buses. Currently, the street has many potholes and patches from previous cuts into the pavement to install utilities.

The street is currently composed of a mix of concrete panels and asphalt. We will remove all of the asphalt and replace it with concrete panels, which will last longer than asphalt. We’ll replace existing curb lane concrete panels that are broken or have previously been cut into for repairs or utility service connections (which makes them more susceptible to breaking). 

In addition to repaving the street, the project includes:

  • Replacing curb ramps at some intersections to bring them into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Sidewalks will otherwise not be impacted.
  • Replacing and/or repairing sections of water mains and sewer lines. This will require water shutoffs, most likely at night for the least impact.
  • Installing electrical conduit at select locations.
  • Expanding both the northbound and southbound bus zones at Virginia St in order to better accommodate the large number of buses using these stops.


Construction began May 2, 2017 and will take approximately 10 months to complete, with major paving completed this year. We will update this page as construction progresses.


The estimated cost of this project is $9.3 million, with funding from the voter-approved Move Seattle Levy.

Contact Information

We’re committed to keeping you informed and working with neighbors to limit construction impacts to the extent feasible. Here are some ways to get more information about the project:

  • Subscribe for project email updates by using the form above.
  • Contact us directly with questions about the project or call at (206) 920-7073
  • Text "3rdAvePaving" to 33222 to sign up for construction alerts via text
  • Request a briefing for your business or organization (contact us via phone or email)

Phone line: (206) 920-7073 (calls are answered during weekday work hours, 7 AM to 5 PM, and monitored during night and weekend work)

Community Outreach Lead
Paul Elliott

Project Manager
Brian Glas


Other SDOT projects in the area

  • 2nd Ave Mobility Improvements - We are making traffic signal improvements and extending the existing 2-way protected bike lane along 2nd Ave from Pike St to Denny Way. These improvements will organize the street and move people more efficiently. Construction began in March and will continue through fall 2017.  Visit the project website here to learn more or contact the project hotline at (206) 905-3639.

  • Center City Connector Project - We will join the existing South Lake Union and the First Hill Streetcar lines, largely along 1st Ave through downtown, creating new north-south connections across downtown. Utility relocations are planned to start this summer. We expect to finish streetcar design by 2018 and the new streetcar line to open in 2020. Visit the project website here to learn more or contact the project team at or (206) 615-1070.

  • Center City Bike Network - We are studying and prioritizing locations for a protected bicycle lane network in downtown Seattle. Currently, we are coordinating with the One Center City effort on near-term and long-term strategies. The project is funded through a voter-approved Bridging the Gap Levy and other local funds and grants. Visit the project website here to learn more or contact the project team at
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